The App: Tools

The App: Tools

There are a lot of problems developing apps for multiple platforms these days. Not the least of which is the ever proliferating sets of tools with which to build them.

To wit:

  • Native apps for the Apple product line can only be built using a language call Objective-C. Unfortunately, it doesn't run anywhere else. This is consistent with the "we know best" approach to all things Apple.
  • Native apps for the Android platforms can only be written in Java or JavaScript. The amount of awful JavaScript now flopping around on the net (probably in your browser as you read this) is disheartening. It's the result of allowing anyone with a browser and a text editor to produce code. Also known as "monkey code" or, more accurately, as "shit".
  • The Microsoft platform allows more languages than I can count. The most popular one is C#, a language that allows you to identify most of your errors before you finish typing them. I make lots of mistakes. I like this approach.

A couple of vendors have created products that are supposed to let you write things once and have them run on any platform.

I've had experience with software tool makers overstating their capabilities. It's a drawback to being this old - I can't let my enthusiasm for the possibilities overcome my skepticism of salesmen in general.

What I don't want to do is learn a minimum of half a dozen languages:

  • Objective-C
  • JavaScript
  • C# (for the server code)
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • SQL
  • HTTP (for all the server calls)
  • XAML

And almost as many operating environments:

  • iOS (and all the animals)
  • Android (and all the candy)
  • Windows (8.1, and 10)
  • Microsoft Azure (for the server).

And on those platforms, you will almost certainly use "frameworks". That's a collection of premade code to solve common coding needs. They pop up about every other day (not exaggerating) and each one has it's own vernacular (often cute enough to make you puke). They include:

  • jQuery
  • AngularJS (v2 because v1 is going away)
  • Kendo
  • Knockout
  • Ember
  • Backbone

And the tools:

  • Visual Studio 2015
  • Fiddler 2
  • Xcode (Apple)
  • SQL Server Management Studio
  • Entity Framework 7
  • Chocolatey
  • Powershell
  • Git
  • Gulp
  • Grunt

Given my age, ADD and waning work ethic, this is not encouraging.

We'll see.